Nestled among lush valleys and dazzling waterfalls and situated over 6000ft above sea level is Sri Lanka’s ‘City of Lights’, the picturesque city of Nuwara Eliya….
The city of Nuwara Eliya was built entirely in the 19th Century by British colonists who wanted to create a home away from home by mimicking an English country town. Thus, Nuwara Eliya is still known today as ‘The Little England’. You can experience this old world English charm at Jetwing St’Andrews, a former English country house that has been converted to a luxury hotel in Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya’s weather also contributes to its nickname of ‘Little England’ as it has an average subtropical highland climate of 15°C to 23°C with temperatures dropping as low as 9.4°C. Frost is also occasional during this time and it is reported that there had been large crowds of local and foreign tourists flocking into Nuwara Eliya last December to witness the beautiful frozen dew that had settled in.
With captivating views of valleys, meadows, mountains and evergreens the wondrous city of Nuwara Eliya holds many attractions for you to explore. Next to the Nuwara Eliya Main Bus Station is Victoria Park, beautiful gardens that are a great place for bird watching, delight in the beauty of blooming flowers and relax among serene surroundings of the Nuwara Eliya town. Be sure to pay a visit to the Hakgala Gardens as well as it is the highest set Botanic Gardens in the world with an elevation of 5000 – 6000 feet, and features trees that are over 100 years old including Monetary Cypress trees from California, Japanese Cedars, Himalayan Pines and English Oak.
If you want to explore Nuwara Eliya’s natural beauty more, just 34 minutes away are the lush Horton plains where you can spot many endemic animals such as the Sri Lankan Sambar Deer and the Sri Lankan Leopard. Also be sure to visit the spectacular Devon and St. Claire’s falls that are within 30 minute distance to the city.
Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest exporters of tea and a visit to Nuwara Eliya is not complete without the tea experience as it is the most important location for tea production in the country. During your journey to Little England you will see valleys and valleys of tea plantations with lovely, cheery-faced ladies in colorful sarees plucking tea leaves. At the Labookelle Tea Centre on Kandy Road, you can embark on free guided tours of the factory that will enable you to see the process of how the world famous Ceylon Tea is made.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.
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